Is It Power of Words Which Destroy Othello or His Own Hubris?

1714 Words Dec 30th, 2012 7 Pages
Is it power of words, which destroy Othello or his own hubris?

Othello is one of Shakespeare’s finest plays, as it concentrates on a courageous’ general’s demise, physically and mentally. It could be argued that Othello bought his destruction on himself, by allowing himself to be poisoned by “Honest” Iago’s fluent rhymes of lies. However I will argue that it is infact his hubris, his overwhelming pride which infact causes his inevitable demise.

Harmatia is a term which was developed by Aristotle and is essentially the main principle when making a tragedy, it is usually translated as “Tragic flaw” it is the idea that the hero’s downfall is partially his fault, in this case Othello’s, it comes from free choice. And not of accident nor
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No, I think Shakespeare meant for Iago to be seen as a significant part in Othello’s down-fall, but not the sole reason for his tragic demise. As Iago states the reason behind his hatred of Othello, it’s Othello’s hubris which is being described, how he “Off-capp’d” the three great ones of the city. Which shows that is is Othello’s hubris which leads him to his downfall, and not the power of words.

Shakespeare shows his audience Othello’s hubris, the Achilles heel in the marvelous, war mongering general. In Act 1, traitorous Iago ‘warns’ Othello of the on coming men, seeking to harm him. However Othello replies back, boasting about his title, “My services which I have done the signiory shall out-tounge his complaints” This statement shows Othello has a lot of pride in himself, and his title, to the extent which he believes he is untouchable by the law and that the council of Venice won’t allow anything to harm him, as he is Othello. “My parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly” This pride, is the actual downfall in Othello, as he didn’t choose to promote his ‘loyal friend’ Iago which in turn hurt Iago’s pride, and forced him to act upon Othello by poisioning his naïve mind with treacherous
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